July 16, 2016

"The Russian military claims it’s making progress on a space plane similar to the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B robotic mini-shuttle."

Daily Beast: That in itself isn’t terribly surprising or even, for the United States, particularly worrisome. by David Axe

'Lots of governments and even private companies are working on space planes that can launch from rockets or runways, boost into orbit for a period of time then return to Earth for quick refurbishment and re-use. The tech is pretty basic. But alone among space-plane developers, the Kremlin is proposing to arm its space plane. With nukes.

'Lt. Col. Aleksei Solodovnikov, a rocketry instructor at the Russian Strategic Missile Forces Academy in St. Petersburg who is overseeing the space plane’s development, said the orbital bomber would be flight-ready by 2020. It’s unclear how much money the Kremlin is investing in the project, and how serious senior officers are about actually deploying the space plane, if and when Solodovnikov and his team finish it.'

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